CareSearch Blog: Palliative Perspectives

Never say die

Never say die

A guest blog post from Deb Rawings, Research Fellow CareSearch, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services, Flinders University

The CareSearch team hosted a MOOC on death and dying (Dying2Learn) in 2016 with over 1,000 participants from 18 countries. The aim of the MOOC was to explore community attitudes in relation to death as a normal part of life, and to open conversations around death and dying. In week one participants were asked to look at language, and to ‘think of alternative words (or euphemisms) that are used to describe death’. We were surprised when we saw 471 participants providing 3,053 alternative words and posting blogs about language.
 
Author: Sam Parker
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Never too late: Death in the 21st century

Never too late: Death in the 21st century

A guest blog post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

There are few human experiences that are truly universal and death is one of these. As individuals and as societies, we form an understanding of what death and dying is. And these views can be different between people, groups and countries. Our perceptions and attitudes are shaped by many things -  our exposure to death, the realities of what causes deaths, how death is represented in our cultural artefacts such as films, novels, social media and art work, and by our societal, religious and spiritual beliefs and systems. As a community, Australia is often characterised as death denying. Many of us have a limited exposure to the realities of death and the dying process and confidence in the health and medical systems to keep us well and healthy.

 
Author: Sam Parker
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End of Year Reading Guidance

End of Year Reading Guidance

A guest blog post from Dr Jennifer Tieman, CareSearch Director, Associate Professor, Discipline Palliative and Supportive Services

The end of the year has come around again, and what would Christmas be without some holiday reading? So for our last blog in 2016, we thought we’d share some seasonal treats.

A few years ago, the December 2013 Nurses Hub News (106kb pdf) created a set of Christmas offerings that is worth revisiting:
Author: Sam Parker
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Three things to do about health professionals’ knowledge of end of life law

Three things to do about health professionals’ knowledge of end of life law

A guest blog post by Professors Ben White and Lindy Willmott, Directors, Australian Centre for Health Law Research, Faculty of Law, QUT

Health professionals need to know the law that governs withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatment. Law is not at the centre of the clinical encounter, but it is part of the regulatory framework that governs these decisions. Failure to know and follow the law puts health professionals and their patients at risk. But we know there are gaps in health professionals’ legal knowledge in this area and this is not surprising either, given how complex and difficult this field of law is.

 

Author: Sam Parker
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Now there is specialised support and training for Australian GP nurses to provide better care at a very difficult time

Now there is specialised support and training for Australian GP nurses to provide better care at a very difficult time

A guest blog post by Associate Professor Josephine Clayton, Specialist Physician in Palliative Medicine at HammondCare’s Greenwich Hospital in Sydney, Associate Professor of Palliative Care at the University of Sydney and Director of the Advance Project

As a young doctor I spent some time working in a palliative care hospital in the early 90’s.  It was such a privilege to be working with people at end of life - with the opportunity to make a difference to quality of life and well-being of patients, and their family members. That experience made me decide to devote my career to Palliative Medicine.
 
I had some experiences at that time that stayed with me.
 
I had a patient, Marion, who had been a school principal. Marion had suffered a severe stroke. She had survived but was very incapacitated, confined to bed and unable to communicate. She was being kept alive, surviving on a feeding tube, and facing a life of care and dependence. Her specialist was very committed to her survival.

 
Author: Sam Parker
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